6 September 2013
Italian Grand Prix: Button: McLaren the right place to be
Although he is struggling to get excited about finishing in sixth place, Jenson Button insists that the situation cannot last forever.
Jenson Button admits that it has been hard to go to races knowing that podiums, let alone victories, were out of the question, but insists that the situation will not last forever.
The Briton, who won the final grand prix of 2012, had hoped to be a title contender with McLaren this season, particularly with Lewis Hamilton moving on to Mercedes, but has struggled to get the MP4-28 on the pace of Red Bull and currently sits a very distant ninth overall.
Although each weekend has tended to show a small improvement from the Woking team, Button has yet to better the fifth place he took in China, although the last outing, in Belgium, came within a late tyre change of possibly producing a tactical top three finish.
“Yeah, Spa was alright,” he reflected, “It's quite difficult to get excited about sixth place but, in terms of the pace of the car, it was pretty good. Fourth after turn one and finishing sixth isn't so bad.
“I think we've unlocked a little bit of performance with the car and we're pretty close to challenging the cars in front. Whether we can do that here or not I don't know. It's a very low downforce circuit here and I think we have a pretty good low downforce package, so we will see. I think, after three or four laps [in practice], we'll know where we stand in terms of how the downforce is working and the efficiency of it.”
The frustration, and a lack of confirmation from McLaren regarding its intentions for 2014, saw Button's name thrust into the 'silly season' debate at Spa, with Red Bull and Ferrari both cropping up in connections with the Briton, but the 2009 world champion has again insisted that there is no reason to leave Woking.
“I'm very happy to stay where I am,” he claimed, admitting that, while all contracts remained confidential, he still hadn't signed anything for 2014, “I think it's very easy, when times are difficult, to look elsewhere but, when you're in a team like McLaren, that has been fighting at the front for so many years, it's definitely the wrong move to move elsewhere.
“I feel I have a very good family in the team and, at the end of last year, we had the quickest car on the grid. We don't now, but it could easily come our way again next season. I feel we are making good progress so this is the right place to be.”
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